For people living on canals and rivers, it’s common to have contact with wildlife. It’s an everyday thing and part of the waterfront lifestyle. You most likely purchased to have access to fishing right from your boat dock so, that’s no surprise. Other than fishing, in Florida canals, we get manatees, different types of birds, sharks(yes) and alligators (yes and yes!).
Neighbors along one street in Satellite Beach, Florida are snapping pictures and sharing stories of a rare crocodile showing up in their backyards this winter.
According to Fox 13 Tampa Bay, Courtney Mott said her husband first spotted it over the weekend swimming in the canal and sunning itself on their next-door neighbor’s dock and yard. Their Berkeley Street neighborhood sits along the St. George Canal where the water runs right up to their backyards and wildlife like manatees and turtles can be spotted swimming year-round. The crocodile is a first for Mott though.
Several neighbors said they ran their photos by wildlife experts they knew to get confirmation, and they said, like most thought, this was no alligator. The sightings continued into the early week as the crocodile began showing up on other docks along the canal. Most neighbors who saw it estimated it was between eight and ten feet long.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, American Crocodiles do live in very small numbers in Southern Florida, although rare sightings have come up in this part of the state. The group’s “Living with Crocodiles” guide says the crocodile was once considered an endangered species but has been upgraded to threatened due to conservation efforts in recent decades.
FWC says the animals are still extremely rare to see though and people must be willing to co-exist with them in order to save their population. Most along the canal Tuesday seemed to consider the animal’s presence there as a novelty and a cool moment to share.
FWC’s website recommends people simply leave crocodiles alone if spotted, keep a distance from them, and watch small pets and children in areas where they’ve been spotted. Also, they recommend people avoid swimming in crocodile occupied waters during dusk and dawn when the animals are most active.
The group also states on their website that it is illegal to feed wild crocodiles, and doing so can lead to the animals become a nuisance. In a neighborhood that’s already used to living with alligators and other wild animals near-by, neighbors said they’re not too worried about the new visitor; who most imagine will move along in time.
How to deal with wildlife on your property
In the case of alligators or crocodiles in Florida, people with concerns about an alligator may call the toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). When someone concerned about an alligator calls the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, they will dispatch one of our contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation. Generally, an alligator may be deemed a nuisance if it is at least four feet in length and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets or property.
SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators from locations where they are unwanted or unwelcome. If a complaint meets the qualifying criteria, SNAP will issue a permit to a contracted nuisance alligator trapper authorizing the removal of the animal.
Wildlife removal assistance in other states
All over the US, the Humane Society works to rescue and rehabilitate injured animals. You can contact them at https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/found-orphaned-or-injured-baby-wild-animal
For Georgea, The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is comprised of six divisions which carry out DNR’s mission to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources.
In South Carolina, if you find a wild animal, please contact one of the following rescue groups right away. Each has an emergency hotline. Leave a message and they will call you back. The SC Department of Natural Resources also maintains the Wildlife Rehabilitators Registry. After clicking on the link, scroll down for listings by animal type. You can also click here for a list of wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators in South Carolina. Southeastern Outdoors maintains an alternate list of SC rehabilitators.
In North Carolina, you can call the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401 to obtain the name and telephone number of a licensed rehabilitator in your area, or go to Injured and Orphaned Wildlife – NC Wildlife
at https://www.ncwildlife.org › injured-wildlife
In Louisiana, the LDWF’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Program was created to regulate the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned wildlife. The goal of the program is to place injured or orphaned wildlife in temporary care until they can be successfully returned to the wild. Lousiana keeps a list of authorized rehabilitators at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/rehab
Many states keep services to remove wildlife animals for areas where they are unwanted. If you find a wild animals in distress in your state, we list here an alphabetical order list to find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. Get help for orphaned, sick or injured wildlife using this state-by-state listing.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wildlife rehabilitators list
Contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for assistance.
Arizona Game and Fish Department list of wildlife rehabilitators.
If you are in San Diego with native predatory wildlife in need of help, call The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center at 760-789-2324.
Otherwise, use the California Department of Fish and Wildlife list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (PDF) list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection list of wildlife rehabilitators.
District of Columbia
No online listing of rehabilitators. Call your local Division of Forestry and Wildlife office for assistance.
No online listing of rehabilitators. Contact your Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Rehabilitation (PDF) list.
University of Illinois Extension (PDF) wildlife rehabilitators by county.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources wildlife rehabilitators list (PDF). If you are unable to locate a rehabilitator, call your DNR law enforcement district or regional headquarters.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (PDF) list of wildlife rehabilitators by county.
The Maryland Wildlife Rehabilitators Association list of wildlife rehabilitators by county.
Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association of Massachusetts or the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife rehabilitators list (Click your district on the right side of the page).
Michigan Department of Natural Resources list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. list of wildlife rehabilitators.
No online listing of rehabilitators. Call your Missouri Department of Conservation Regional Office to locate a licensed rehabilitator.
No online listing of wildlife rehabilitators. Call your local Game and ParksCommission Conservation Officer to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You can also try contacting Nebraska Wildlife Rehab or Wildlife Rescue Team.
Nevada Department of Wildlife (PDF) list of wildlife rehabilitators.
New Hampshire Fish and Game Department list of wildlife rehabilitators.
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (PDF) list of wildlife rehabilitators.
No online listing of wildlife rehabilitators. Call your local Game and Fish office to locate a licensed rehabilitator. You can also consult Animal Protection of New Mexico’s list of wildlife rehabilitators.
New York Department of Environmental Conservation list of wildlife rehabilitators.
No online listing of wildlife rehabilitators. Call your local Game and Fish District Office or a veterinarian for assistance.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife rehabilitators registry by county.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (PDF) list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators listing by county.
If you are unable to find a wildlife rehabilitator, call your local Pennsylvania Game Commission Regional Office.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
If you are unable to find a wildlife rehabilitator, call the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management at 401-789-3094 or 401-789-0281.
No online listing of wildlife rehabilitators. Call your Game, Fish & Parks Wildlife Division office to locate a licensed rehabilitator.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife rehabilitators by county.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries list of wildlife rehabilitators.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation wildlife rehabilitators registry by county.
Does not permit rehabilitation of state wildlife. Call your local Department of Natural Resources District Office for assistance.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources list of wildlife rehabilitators.
If you are unable to find a wildlife rehabilitator, call the DNR’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Liaison at 715-359-5508.
Teton Raptor Center: Permitted facility caring for injured birds of prey.
5450 West Hwy. 22
Wilson, WY 83001
Call your Game & Fish Department Regional Office to locate other licensed rehabilitators.